A huge snowstorm, combined with winds of up to 70 km / h and large 2.5-inch hailstones, hit Illinois on Friday in a & # 39; freak & # 39; weather system that was expected to bring 50 inches of snow to western Montana and deliver an early winter to states as far as California.
Temperatures in the Midwest dropped unusually early this year, with forecasters warning that trees would fall to damage power lines, harmful waves on Flathead Lake in Montana and dangerous travel conditions up to the west coast that last until Monday.
When a thunderstorm tore frontally through Illinois, in Chicago, four people had to be rescued from Lake Michigan and the strong winds hit during a thunderstorm in Manteno, killing tents and destroying an Oktoberfest event, ABC news reported.
It was when about 70 reports of heavy weather came from Kansas to Indiana, the latter that got a flash when Saturday morning six inches of rain fell in the northwest.
Flash floods hit Illinois (photo) and Indiana, while six inches of rainfall occurred in the northwest
A video filmed from a home in Mossville, Illinois, shows the harsh weather that accompanied a travel warning
Cars were seen underwater in the suburbs of the southwest
During the wet weather in Chicago, a 20-year-old man was rescued by four firefighters who took a boat to reach him 400 feet in Lake Michigan near Pratt.
The storm stopped them from reaching him in a helicopter, but the man was eventually taken to the hospital to be treated.
& # 39; The waves were high. I think the water temperature was 58 degrees, & battalion chief Frank Cambria said CBS News. & # 39; We were worried about hypothermia. The victim was almost submerged when Capt. Finnegan came to him. & # 39;
& # 39; He was in trouble. He screamed. He drowned. We went inside, & captain Michael Finnegan added about himself and his colleague and two others staying on the boat for Friday's rescue mission.
Three divers were also rescued from the lake in the city where 959 flights were canceled at R & D 39, Hare Airport and 134 were canceled at Midway International, while both travel hubs had delays that lasted nearly an hour where flights took place.
At the same time, predictions of a low-pressure system that caused severe storms in the Northern Rockies caused Kansas and Missouri to brace themselves for tornadoes and other harsh storm behaviors.
The strange September weather is caused by cold air from Canada dragging west from the Rocky Mountains, where residents were warned to brace themselves for damage to crops and treacherous roads.
Flights canceled between Chicago O & Hare and Midway International together reached more than 1,000
High wind strikes during a thunderstorm in Manteno, Illinois, when tents are lowered and an Oktoberfest event is ruined
In Missoula, Montana, which has not received snow since 1983 since 1983, officials from the Department of Transportation were sanding snow plows and trucks and & # 39; waiting for ice on bridge & # 39; maintenance manager Steve Felix on the Missoulian.
The warm roadbeds are likely to melt most of the snow during the weekend, Felix said, but the predicted cold temperatures for Monday can cause sleet, while drivers have probably not yet put on snow tires.
& # 39; I am concerned that people are not ready for this, & # 39; he said. & # 39; They should not take this storm lightly. & # 39;
While up to four feet of snow might cover the Rocky Mountain Front and Glacier National Park in Montana, northern and central parts of the state are more likely to be 6-12 inches.
If there is snowfall in Missoula during the weekend, he can very well lead to a record setting AccuWeather, because the biggest snowfall of a day in September in the Missoula Valley in 1934 was only 1.5 inches.
& # 39; It is Montana, and this is a kind of Montana characteristic, weird snowstorms. Our seasons are short, except for the winter, & Rebecca Connors, Helena Public Works City Information Officer, told AccuWeather.
Up to 50 centimeters of snow is expected in Western Montana, while winter storm watches are issued in eastern Washington, the Idaho panhandle, and northwestern Wyoming
If snow falls in Missoula, Montana, as expected, this could be a historic event. Since 1983 it no longer snows in the city
Weather forecasters predicted this week that the & # 39; freak & # 39; winter storm through the Midwest
It saw the mountains of the Sierra Nevada in California covered with a blanket of an inch of the white stuff.
That will be followed by temperatures that fall to unreasonably cold levels early next week, with the coldest spots falling to the teenagers and 20s.
& # 39; This is going to be a very long-lasting, wet event & # 39 ;, said national meteorologist Paul Nutter.
Cities that have not seen snow in September for decades have canceled sporting events and prepared their street plows, while residents have brought their vegetable garden and covered plants for the harsh frost.
The storm storm is expected to hit Montana with one community in the storm warning area, Cut Bank, expected to break its 15-inch (38.1 centimeter) snowfall record for September with this single storm. The 13-inch (33.02-centimeter) September record of Great Falls can also be threatened, Nutter said.
Winter storm watches have also been issued in eastern Washington, the Idaho panhandle, western Montana, and northwestern Wyoming, where snow is expected to fall.
Unusually low temperatures are expected to be accompanied by the winter storm
The various winter storm warnings issued throughout the Midwest in anticipation of the storm
Isolated snowstorms in the mountains are not uncommon for September, but the amount of snow forecast and the huge area of the storm make it a potentially historic event, Nutter said.
Nutter said it was too early to link the storm to the effects of climate change, and that meteorologists are instead focusing on what the storm will do.
& # 39; Generally, scientists with a warmer planet see individual weather systems getting a little more energetic & # 39 ;, he said.
Glacier National Park provided a temporary road and campsite closure for the storm. Elsewhere, nature workers and avalanche centers in Montana warned hunters and other outdoor recreationists to be cautious in dangerous inlands.
NorthWestern Energy increased staffing at its customer service centers and prepared equipment to respond to power outages, spokeswoman Jo Dee Black said, but warned that waiting times could be longer if the disruptions were widespread.
The expected large quantities of fresh snow can also lead to record temperatures next week, as the thermometer is expected to fall above the high country in the few figures. Intermediate increases, meanwhile, could see temperatures in the teens and 20s.
The High Plains and Prairies could see just below freezing on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday evening.
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